Priority Items

Higher School Certificate (HSC) - Update (Ref: 66/20)

The HSC is going ahead in 2020.

A COVID-19 Response Committee is addressing developing issues as a matter of urgency.

Advice to students

§  Keep learning, do your assessments, make progress on your major projects.

§  Look after yourself, whether you are at school or at home.

§  Reach out to family, friends and your teachers if you need to.

§  Go to UAC COVID-19 updates for information about entering university in 2021.

School-based HSC assessment

Schools must follow social distancing requirements when planning or undertaking school assessment tasks.

The Board has given principals or system authorities the power to make decisions about school-based assessment for the 2020 HSC in relation to:

§  the number and weightings of formal assessment tasks

§  the task types.

NESA anticipates that most students will have already completed one formal assessment task in each course.

NESA’s principles of assessment continue to apply. Wherever possible, school-based assessment should continue to be:

§  based on a wide range of syllabus outcomes

§  based on multiple measures made throughout the HSC course

§  informed by the components identified in the assessment and reporting documents for each of the syllabuses

§  be inclusive of and accessible for all students.

Processes, procedures and policies

Schools should continue to implement their assessment policy where possible, including administrative arrangements for illness/misadventure and substitute tasks.

Given that most schools will make some changes to their assessment program, they should continue to ensure that students have adequate written notice of any changes to the school’s assessment program or policy, and are aware of the details of the school’s arrangements for illness/misadventure and substitute tasks.

HSC exam projects, submitted works and performances

NESA will provide advice to students and teachers about the HSC exam projects, submitted works and performances shortly.

HSC Disability Provisions

NESA advises schools to continue submitting disability provisions applications for the 2020 HSC exams.

The coronavirus outbreak might make it difficult to collect evidence in some cases.

To fast track the process, schools should apply for the provisions for which they can get evidence, with a view to updating the application when more evidence is available.

For example, if applying for a reader and a writer, a school may already have reading results and medical evidence. Submit an application for a reader first. When writing samples become available, submit a ‘variation request’ for a writer.

Disability provisions for school-based assessments and exams remain school decisions.

If you have any questions about HSC Disability Provisions, please contact Student Support:

·        Call: 9367 8117

·        Email:

Mandatory work placement in VET

NESA is aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the work placement service provider program, with a number of employers indicating their inability to continue providing work placement opportunities at this time.

NESA is working with the school sectors regarding possible interim arrangements, and will provide further advice shortly.

COVID-19 – Latest Updates and Resources (Ref: 060/20)

For the latest updates and helpful resources and advice regarding COVID-19 and it’s impacts on the Catholic Education sector please refer to the COVID-19 Section on the Catholic Schools New South Wales Website. Diocesan Directors and Principals are encouraged to access the COVID-19 Response Portal for relevant resources and information.

Better, Smarter Regulation Initiative (Ref:035/20)

Catholic Schools New South Wales is still receiving submissions for its Better, Smarter Regulation initiative. While the initial deadline for submissions has passed, any submissions received will still be properly considered.

Catholic Schools New South Wales announced this initiative in 2019 as a way to help to reduce the growing burden of regulation imposed by government on teachers, most particularly on school leaders. The school sector needs a voice back to government on this important issue.

Catholic Schools NSW has heard the message of school teachers and principals that the administrative burden on schools is too high. Australia’s school principals have also reported they are overwhelmed by their workloads. This was the cause of significant stress and prevented school principals from focusing on the core aims of their schools: teaching and learning.

The aim of the Better, Smarter Regulation initiative is to set out a roadmap which provides a practical, achievable work programme to lighten this burden. This Better, Smarter Regulation Roadmap is not about watering down safeguards or removing essential regulation – it is about identifying and removing redundant regulation, ending duplication and inconsistencies and streamlining reporting protocols so that regulation in school education is targeted, properly assessed against risks and more transparent. Critically, this initiative will rely on input from those at the frontlines of our education system.

Catholic Schools New South Wales is therefore calling for teachers, principals, school administrators, school leaders and others in the education industry to make submissions based on their experience of red-tape. These submissions will help guide Catholic Schools New South Wales’s work in preparing a Roadmap for government to seek positive reform in the way it regulates schools. Guidelines for preparing submissions can be viewed here.

Further information on this initiative can be found at

Professional Learning

NSW Premier's Teacher Scholarships (Ref:037/20)

Applications for scholarship-funded study tours commencing in 2021 will close on Sunday 19th April 2020.

Subscribe to our Alert MeExternal link list to keep up to date with scholarship notifications.

The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships provide $10,000 or $15,000 for a five-week study tour within Australia or overseas.

The scholarships, funded by corporate supporters and private foundations, are open to teachers in NSW government and non-government schools, TAFE NSW campuses and early childhood centres. Scholarships are awarded in the year prior to the study tour.

The majority of scholarships are for school-based teachers to explore best practice in their chosen subject area. The program delivers significant outcomes for scholarship recipients, students, teacher colleagues and school communities.

The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships program is an initiative of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and administered by the NSW Department of Education.

For more information, contact the project team via or by calling (02) 7814 3820.


'Deutsch Lehren Lernen' German Teacher Scholarship (Ref:026/20)

Deutsch Lehren Lernen (DLL)“ is an innovative professional learning program of the Goethe-Institut. Offering further training, it answers fundamental questions regarding the teaching of German as an additional language. The 10-week online courses offer a variety of subjects, and are designed for teachers of German who are looking for professional learning utilising the latest training methods.

For  more information on scholarships for this program please click the link below:

Deutsch Lehren Lernen


'Goethe-Institut' - Young Teachers Network and Award (Ref:027/20)

The Goethe-Institut network has been created to support new teachers of German by providing advice, mentoring, professional learning opportunities, teaching materials, and platforms for personal and virtual exchange. The winner of the Young Teacher Award will attend a professional learning course in Germany in 2021.

For more information please click the link below:
   Young Teachers Network    



Support for Bushfire-Affected School Students and Families in NSW (Ref:017/20)

Please refer to the Catholic Schools New South Wales website for a range of resources and information to support bushfire-affected schools, students and families.
Information includes:
– Financial support for families
– Community support
– Mental health support
– How Catholic schools communities and parishes can help

Please note all this information has previously been provided to diocesan directors and school principals via memo over the last few weeks.


School Newsletter

Tune into Taronga TV For Your Daily Dose of Animal Antics (Ref:070/20)

For the first time in Taronga’s 103-year-history, Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo will be going virtual, with the launch Taronga TV having occurred on 1 April 2020.

Tune in daily for a packed schedule of fascinating keepers talks and shows, 24/7 live animal streams, amusing animal antics and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at what the animals (and the keepers) actually get up to when the zoo is closed.

For more information please click here.

ENTER NOW - 2020 Harmony Day Poster and Song Writing Competitions (Ref:020/20)

This year’s Harmony Day Poster and Song Writing Competition theme is ‘Picture a World in Harmony’. Prizes will be awarded in two categories:
1. Senior (year 7 – year 12)
2. Junior (K – year 6)

Poster Competition Prizes In each category the following prizes are awarded:
– State Winner $500
– Regional Winner $150
– State Winner’s School $500

Song Writing Competition Prizes

In each category the following prizes are awarded:
– First Prize $300
– Second Prize $150

Closing Date: 10 April 2020
Entry Forms and Competition Rules Are available at:

Prize Giving Function Will be held at the NSW Parliament House in June 2020
Every entrant will receive a Certificate of Participation
More information from: